The Bullitt County History Museum

Museum Newsletter - 06 Sep 2008

Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum E-Newsletter
September 6, 2008, (Volume 4, Number 9)

Dear Friends,


>> Bullitt County Genealogical Society Meeting ... Researching on the Internet.

Ivan Baugh will be the guest speaker this month. He will be presenting a program about researching and analyzing genealogical web sites on the Internet. Should be really useful to anyone that uses the Internet for research. If there is time, I might also demonstrate some of the newest pages on our own web site,

Meeting time is 10:00 a.m. Saturday, September 20. (We meet every month at that time on the third Saturday of the month.)

Meeting place is our usual location, Ridgway Memorial Public Library, located on the corner of Walnut Street and Second Street in Shepherdsville.

>> "Timeline" Living History Festival September 13.

I wrote of this last time. Be sure to visit this event if you can. Don Eldon, who is organizing this event, tells me that it will about fill the park. Don is expanding his annual Civil War encampment to include many different times in our history, all in one place. See a timeline of history dating back from the 1700's through the 1900's. Bring the whole family and step back in time. The free event, located in the Shepherdsville riverside park (an expansion of Simon Park) will feature living encampments from several eras. Besides the Civil War and Pioneer times, it looks like the biggest encampment this year by far will be World War II. There will be a Civil War era battle and a World War Two tank battle, as well as weapons and vehicle demonstrations.

The Bullitt County History Museum and the Bullitt County Genealogical Society will host an information booth, and the Shepherdsville Lions Club will have its food booth, featuring funnel cakes, hot dogs & brats, and barbecue & soft drinks. Support the Lions Club booth if you can. They do great work for the community!

And I'll be there demonstrating pioneer salt making.

It should be a great event. Activities start about 9:00 a.m. and last until about 6:00 p.m., but there will be night-time cannon fire demonstrations as well. There will also be some limited activity the next day.

Call Don Eldon at 502-543-4973 or 502-599-0812 for more information.

>> Last call for Cemetery Preservation Class in Frankfort

The Kentucky Historical Society is hosting another cemetery preservation workshop this September, 27 from 8-5 at the History Center in Frankfort. The registration form is on their web site..... Ann Johnson, who taught our class last year, will be the leader for this class as well. The class was very popular when we hosted it here in Shepherdsville, and we have talked about having another one some day. But there are no plans for a local one at this time. So register for Ann's class if you can make it! Registration deadline is September 19. For more information about the workshop, contact Ann Johnson at 502-564-1792, ext. 4404. To register for the workshop, contact Julia Curry at 502-564-1792, ext. 4414.


>> Work Continuing on Elected County Officials Lists.

A year or two ago, someone came into the museum and asked for a list of past sheriffs of Bullitt County. To our surprise, we realized there seemed to be only very spotty listings of any of our past officials.

So volunteers have been working on that, searching newspaper microfilm, census books, etc., to build good lists of the officers of our county since its beginning. We now have nearly complete lists and dates of our County Attorneys and Sheriffs. We have been working on the Jailer list and most recently began the County Judge list.

It's been quite interesting! You can find some of our work on our web page and in "The Wilderness Road", our Society's quarterly newsletter (more on that in a moment).

There are still a couple of gaps in the County Judge list. I intend to publish that list in the next edition of this "Friends" E-news.

One particular past County Judge caught my attention. Wilhite Carpenter apparently held the office three different times and might be an interesting figure for someone to do a biography on sometime. Carpenter spent some time as a boy at Pleasant Hill, Shakertown, and had extensive family connections to that community. He was state senator 1874-80. He helped establish Eddyville Penitentiary and was one of Kentucky's first state prison commissioners (see Who Was Who in Bullitt County, Betty Darnell for more detail). I think his father fought in the Revolutionary War. I just bet Wilhite would be a very interesting fellow to learn more about.

>>"Wilderness Road" Quarterly being sent out.

Thanks to our wonderful editor, Betty Darnell, another fine publication of our Bullitt County Genealogical Society quarterly, "Wilderness Road" is ready to be sent out to members. This September issue includes a listing of what we have so far on Bullitt County Jailers, as I mentioned above. It also has readings of a couple of cemeteries, and several transcripts of useful research papers and family genealogies.

We will be mailing it out this Monday/Tuesday.

The quarterly is free to members of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society. Membership is just $15 per year. It's a great deal! If you are not already a member, you might consider joining for the quarterly if nothing else. Info can be found at the very end of this E-news.

>> New to our web site.

You might be surprised at how many historic sites there are in Bullitt County. Or you might have heard of one and wondered where it was. Now our web site can help.

We have added a web page that shows all of the state history markers in our county. The page not only lists them, it shows a readable photo of each one, and a Google map showing its location.

Plans are to also add a page showing other locations of historical interest, such as locations of Indian/Pioneer battles, etc.

Speaking of which, we have added a transcript of an old newspaper article recounting "The Last Indian Fight" in Bullitt County.

Ever wonder where some old community was? We now have a web page for that as well, and will be adding more community locations as we find them.

>> Displays are changing

Changes have started in our museum display rooms. After a long run, the display about internationally-renowned local artist Alma Lesh has been taken down. Volunteer Barbara Bailey is revising that display cabinet to show several of our family artifacts that we have had in storage until now. Not quite finished yet (I need to make some labels and text), items include such things as an over-century-old bedspread, handmade from flax grown on a Bullitt County farm. There are some goblets brought to Kentucky by wagon train, an old family album, and much more. I'll try to include a photo and more detail in the next newsletter.

We plan to start changing our "Electricity Comes to Bullitt County" display sometime later this month.

>> Another Cemetery Cleaned.

Museum volunteers alone can not make a dent in the hundreds of old neglected cemeteries in Bullitt County that need to be cleaned and kept up.

So I am always happy to hear of someone else taking on some of the responsibility.

Pam Myers and family recently cleaned up a small cemetery in Lebanon Junction on Hillsdale Avenue. I believe they called it the Starks Cemetery, not to be confused with one of similar name on Ft. Knox property. This one on Hillsdale has not yet been documented by our cemetery documentation team.

Thank you Pam! And thank you, everyone, who takes on such an honorable task.

For Your Information...

>>Black Paper and Newspaper.

A common problem with copying or scanning newspaper clippings is that the print on the back side often shows through, making a poor and confusing copy.

There is an easy fix. Just place a sheet of black paper behind the clipping. The black paper hides the black ink on the back side, allowing for a much better quality copy.

Finally...Chiggers & Ticks.

Chiggers & Ticks, the summertime scourge of hikers and of explorers of old cemeteries throughout the South, have been especially energetic and abundant this year. Some of our volunteers have had an especially tough time with them. Ticks are the most serious, threatening infection and the debilitating Lyme Disease. Volunteer Ken Bailey, a hard worker in cleaning old cemeteries, had two pretty bad bouts with them this year alone.

But today I talk mostly about Chiggers. If you happen to get a newspaper that carries the cartoon series Opus, you saw the effects on him. Little red welts pop up on your skin, itchy enough to about drive you crazy. As with ticks, if you don't protect yourself before going into tall grass and weeds, you'll almost certainly get them on you. They sit on the ends of weeds and grass and just wait for you, hitching a ride as you pass by and literally getting into your skin. You can usually spot the ticks and remove them if you are quick enough.

But chiggers are too small to see. I often get bit by a few of them every year but I have never seen one. They are gross little rascals under a microscope. I have included a photo here.

Chiggers do not actually burrow under your skin, as many people believe, nor do they feed on animal blood like ticks do. Chiggers actually feed on the fluids in skin cells. To get the fluids, they attach themselves to a skin pore or hair follicle and inject a digestive enzyme that ruptures the cells. The enzyme also hardens the surrounding skin tissue, forming a sort of straw for sucking the skin cell fluids. The whole process irritates the skin, causing an itchy red bump that continues to cause discomfort for several days. Because chiggers are too small to see with the naked eye, many people mistakenly think they have bored under the skin, but this is not true.

They tend to attach to skin under tight clothing, such as socks and underwear, or in concealed areas of the body, such as the groin and the armpits. Oh boy!, do they love those spots! One way to decrease the chance of chigger bites is to wear loose clothing when you're in the woods or other infested areas. But I find with the threat of both ticks as well as chiggers, it's best to "seal all entryways" by taping your pants to your boots and socks. A person wearing shorts is just "itching" for trouble. Also spray yourself down thoroughly with a good bug repellant such as Off Backwoods or some other product tat contains "DEET". You should also take a shower as soon as you get home from an outdoor expedition, to remove any chiggers before they attach to your skin. Inspect closely for ticks and remove them promptly with alcohol and tweezers, being careful to not leave part of the tick head imbedded in the skin.

In America, chiggers don't spread any diseases to humans (ticks do), but chigger bites can get infected. You should keep the irritated area clean and refrain as much as possible from scratching (Ha!). In other parts of the world they can be more serious carriers of disease.

One commonly known remedy for chigger bites is to apply nail polish to reduce itchiness. This does not kill the chigger or treat the bite in any way. It simply seals the area off from the air, which keeps the sore from itching so badly. If you want to apply something to relieve itching, it's much better to use a salve or cream that contains antihistamines (Caladryl or hydrocortisone salves are the most common). Like nail polish, these treatments will seal the bite from the surrounding air, but they will also help to prevent infection. If the welts continue to irritate you for more than a couple of weeks, they might be infected and you should see a doctor.

My thanks to "" for some of this information.

Prevention is good, and a quick bath afterward helps, but the best cure for ticks and chiggers is winter. After frost, they go away for the year. That's why I encourage most field exploration be done in winter. It might be colder and wetter, but I'll take that anytime compared to a hundred little itchy welts all over (and I mean all over!) my body. [grin]

May your field explorations be fruitful, and chigger free.

Thank you for being a Friend of Bullitt County History.

David Strange
Bullitt County History Museum
Executive Director
Museum Phone: 502-921-0161

The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 12 Sep 2020 . Page URL: